Sunday, July 4, 2010

Is it sexist to ogle male athletes?

With the Fifa World Cup on right now, women all over the globe are being treated to some seriously soccerific eye candy. Yeah, that's right, I called the athletes "eye candy." Let's be honest, those soccer playes are HAWT, and I have definitely enjoyed watching the games on two levels: for the sport and for the hotties. But this begs the question, is it sexist to ogle the soccer players?

One of my favourite blogs, Jezebel, has been posting "Abs of the Day" and "Thighlights" featuring the hottest abs and thighs from the day's matches. Naturally, I quite enjoy these blog posts and their accompanying photos, but I've noticed a trend among the comments. Many people are saying things like, "When articles or blog posts are written about female athletes looking good with their hot butts or nice tits, you get up in arms! So why are you doing that to the male athletes?" Others have accused the bloggers of shameless objectification and degrading the male athletes.

This got me thinking about the difference between sexually objectifying athletes and just enjoying their beauty. I personally feel that it is NOT sexist to ogle the male soccer players, and here are my reasons:

1. I don’t watch the game for the hotties
I enjoy watching soccer - I don't just watch it just to ogle men. Not only do I enjoy watching it, but I played it for 10 years. I understand the game and would watch it whether it was played by men or women no matter what their appearance.
Now take certain women’s sports that are aired on TV, such as beach volleyball. The women’s outfits (which are skimpy bikinis) are strictly regulated by the Fédération Internationale de Volleyball, and are kept skimpy in order to attract more male viewers to the sport.

2. I don't value the player’s looks over their athletic ability.
Although it may sound like I'm gaga over these soccer players, the fact is that I'm not watching Fifa World Cup for the "eye candy." It's just a nice bonus. I wouldn't watch any old crap on TV just cos it featured hot men. You can put all the hot men in the world in Speedos and make them play cricket and I wouldn't watch that, cos cricket is pretty much the most boring game in the world.

3. Their hot bodies are HEALTHY hot bodies
There is a difference between enjoying an athlete's body who has worked hard and is at the top of their game, and gawking at female models who are likely to have been photoshopped, have an eating disorder, altered their body through plastic surgery or other non-natural procedures, etc. Also, the soccer players are out there having fun doing what they love. They’re not being posed in unnatural positions, made to squeeze their breasts together, cup their breasts, stick their booties in the camera, make a ‘sex face’, tousle their hair around, make out with another person of the same-sex, or do any of that crap that we constantly see female models being subjected to.

4. Guess what? Women like to gawk too.
Why does nobody even question the fact that (straight) men love to stare at tits, ass, legs… all parts of women’s bodies. But when women stare at men, people don’t accept that so easily. Enough of the double standards! Let me enjoy these skilled athletes in all their glory…

Jezebel also has a similar post on this topic… check it out.

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